27 August 2007

olive oil brownies

4 oz (115g) finest quality bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
1/3 c (80ml) fruity extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c (70g) all-purpose/plain flour (if using a soft flour like Italian type 00 or White Lily, add an extra tablespoon)
1/4 t sea salt or kosher salt
2 large or extra large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 c (150g) superfine/caster sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2/3 c (70g) lightly toasted hazelnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

preheat oven to 350F. line an 8" square baking pan with a lightly oiled and floured piece of parchment paper that overhangs the pan on two sides (this aids in removal later).

melt the chocolate over low heat or in the microwave and whisk in the oil. let cool.

mix the flour and salt. beat the eggs and sugar until pale, thickened and billowy, about five minutes. fold in the vanilla and chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour and optional nuts. pour into the prepared pan and distribute evenly.

bake for 20-25 minutes. the top will be dry and crackly, though a toothpick inserted in the center should emerge still a little wet. cool completely, then cut into squares. serve with whipped cream, if desired.

01 August 2007

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Serves 8

12 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 pkgs (16 ounces total) cream cheese
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
12 eggs
2 c milk
1/3 c maple syrup or other syrup

1/2 c sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/2 c water
2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1 T butter

Cut bread into 1" cubes; place half in a greased 13x9x2" baking dish.

Cut cream cheese into 1" cubes; place over bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in milk and syrup, blending well. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes more or until golden brown and the center is set.

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; add water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in blueberries; reduce heat. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until berries have burst. Stir in butter until melted. Serve sauce with French toast.